Zack Snyder Trains as Hard as His Action Heroes

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Photo credit: Men's Health/Warner Bros.
Photo credit: Men's Health/Warner Bros.

Much has been said about director, screenwriter, producer, and comic book movie cultural firebrand Zack Snyder, but you can't say that the man doesn't work hard. That goes for his fitness routine as much as his work ethic as a multi-hyphenate power in the movie biz.

Snyder invited the MH crew to his home gym in Pasadena, California, to get a look behind his upper body workout split. He says that he trains an hour before just about every day of shooting when he's on location—and fitness has become an integral part of his work process.

The director, who became a name in the fitness world nearly as much as the film one with the mythically shredded Spartans in his 2007 adaptation of 300, began setting the bar high during the production of that film. "Starting on 300, I would come in before everyone else, I would do the workout, Mark [Twight, the trainer who worked on the production and created the infamous 300 workout plan] would put my times and my PRs on the board and all the actors would have to beat it," he says. "Few did."

Since that experience, Snyder says that he has made community physical fitness and training a focal point in his productions. "Starting on Watchmen [2009], we started training also with the whole crew, so we had a gym and anyone who wanted to come workout in the gym, they could come," he says. "The gym really evolved into this place of camaraderie, where we all had the same struggle... The gym was an opportunity for everyone not only to get in shape for the movie, but also to come together—it really turned into this family thing. When you look at someone trying their best and doing their hardest, you can ask for nothing more."

Photo credit: Men's Health
Photo credit: Men's Health

But just because Snyder has prioritized fitness in his productions, that doesn't mean that he feels like he needs to control every aspect of his workout plan. He works with trainer and former Olympic weightlifter Alessandro Komadina with a goal of looking as muscular as possible—and he is more than willing to take direction. "One of the important things when you're with your trainer is that you don't know exactly where you are—but I trust that he does," Snyder says, before getting into abstract thought. "My philosophy in the gym is that the clay has no opinion. The marble does not get to decide in what sculpture it will be made into. It's simply at the will of the creator's."

Zack Snyder's Upper Body Workout

Chest

  • Bench Press

4 sets with descending weight of 4, 6, and 8 reps

  • Dumbbell Incline Press

4 sets of 8, 10, 12, 12 reps at descending weight

  • Machine Flys

3 sets of 8, 10, 12 reps at descending weight

  • Machine Incline Press

3 sets of 8, 10, 12 reps at descending weight

Shoulders

  • Vertical Press

3 sets of 8, 10, 12 reps at descending weight

  • Lat Raises

3 sets of 8, 10, 12 reps at descending weight

Arms

  • Curl with Bar

4 sets of progressively heavier reps, starting with 6 to 8

  • Curl with Dumbbells

4 sets of progressively heavier reps, starting with 6 to 8

Want more celebrity workout routines? Check out all of our Train Like videos.

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